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Andrew Iverson
HIS 352
“The Middle East’s militant interpretation
of jihad and its’ legacy were developed
as a result of the Crusades.”
Jihad from a Western perspective: holy war
The West now, avoids war whereas; the
Middle East’s view of war has not changed.
In other words, the Middle East still sees war
as an honorable action.
Striving or struggle for Allah
Jihad is only justified if the Islamic faith and
way of life is endangered
Military jihad can only be declared for two
◦ Defense
◦ undoing of injustice
One rule of jihad requires that once the
enemy surrenders, all hostility is to cease.
There should be no reprisal, all prisoners
should be treated humanely, and if possible,
returned to their families.
Muslim’s who practice jihad and gives up
their life for God are known as a shahid
Another interpretation is “to exert oneself”
defensive jihad is defined as being “against
dar-al-Islam (“house of submission” or
dar-al-Harb (house of war)- the rest of the
the infidels who raid the abode of Islam”
submission to God)
world is characterized by heedlessness,
disorder, internal strife, and unbelief
States that Muslims have an obligation to
fight, which leads Muslims to believe that
Islam was spread through the sword just as
the prophet spread Islam
Muhammad practiced jihad spreading Islam;
however, over time, jihad was interpreted as
the inner struggle of Muslims.
Jihad was perceived as a minor issue of Islam.
When Arabs were attacked by Latin Christians
in the name of God, this reawakened Islam’s
dedication to jihad.
Sufis argued that greater jihad was most
important; internal struggle waged against sin
and error.
Victory at Edessa was called the “victory of
“I seek nothing but the good of the Muslims
and to make war against the Franks . . . If we
aid one another in waging the holy war, and
matters are arranged harmoniously and with
a single eye to the good, my desire and
purpose will be fully achieved.”
Zangi reformed the understanding of jihad to
a warlike interpretation.
Began a propaganda campaign to develop the
theology of jihad and spread it to the cities
that would then transmit it to the clergy.
Then, the clerics would transmit the teaching
to the people in the mosques during the
sermon that was preached on Friday, the
Muslim Sabbath.
Zangi’s successor was Saladin
Saladin grew up in Zangi’s court, where
jihad was the centerfold of Islam
Saladin succeeded Zangi and unified
the Muslim world and continued the
jihad propaganda
“The Holy War and the suffering involved in it
weighted heavily on his heart and his while
being in every limb; he spoke of nothing else,
thought only about equipment for the fight,
was interested only in those who had taken
up arms, had little sympathy with anyone who
spoke of anything else or encourage any
other activity.”
“I think that God grants me victory over the
rest of Palestine. I shall divide my territories,
make a will stating my wishes, then set sail
on this sea for their far-off lands and pursue
the Franks there, so as to free the earth of
anyone who does not believe in God, or die in
the attempt.”
This makes it clear, that Saladin viewed jihad
in a militaristic sense
Jihad is viewed simply as holy war but has
many different interpretations even in the
Muslim community.
During the Crusades, the interpretation of
jihad became increasingly militaristic after